Evaluation of the efficacy of 3% citronella candles and 5% citronella incense for protection against field populations of Aedes mosquitoes

J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 1996 Jun;12(2 Pt 1):293-4.


We assessed the efficacy of 3% citronella candles and 5% citronella incense in protecting subjects from bites of Aedes spp. under field conditions. The study was conducted in a deciduous woodlot in Guelph, Ontario, Canada from July 26 to August 10, 1995. Eight subjects, dressed identically, were assigned to one of 8 positions on a grid within the study area. Two citronella candles, 2 citronella incense, 2 plain unscented candles, or no candles (i.e., nontreated controls) were assigned to 2 positions on the grid each evening. Subjects conducted 5-min biting counts at each position and performed 16 biting counts per evening. On average, subjects received 6.2 +/- 0.4, 8.2 +/- 0.5, 8.2 +/- 0.4, and 10.8 +/- 0.5 bites/ 5 min at positions with citronella candles, citronella incense, plain candles, and no candles, respectively. Although significantly fewer bites were received by subjects at positions with citronella candles and incense than at nontreated locations, the overall reduction in bites provided by the citronella candles and incense was only 42.3 and 24.2%, respectively.

MeSH terms

  • Aedes*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Insect Bites and Stings
  • Insect Repellents*
  • Mosquito Control*
  • Plant Oils*


  • Insect Repellents
  • Plant Oils
  • citronella oil